Workhorse strings for easy playability
boch on 2017/06/04
D'Addario is known for reasonably priced commodity strings that provide consistent quality and durability throughout string's life. I've tested probably 2/3 of all of the available D'addario gauges, from ultra light to the heavy flatwound jazz strings.
Given that strings are covered with nickel, the touch is neutral and soft on fingers.
The tone is bright. However proper manipulation of the tone pot and the EQ section of the amp warms it up. The problem for some genres might be lack of fatness of the high E string. However, it can be augmented with an overdrive or boost pedal with pronounced mid section. Transparent pedals keep the tone of that string still rather thin.
The strings give an impression of a solid tension unlike some other lighter gauges, even with guitars characterized by a short scale length. Strings don't get floppy. The strings are highly recommended for longer scale guitars (like Fender Stratocasters). If you play heavy riffs on the bass strings with a hard pick attack, there might be too much movement on a short scale guitars before a string returns to the original position. More tension might be required, especially on short scale guitars (like Gibson Les Pauls).
One other minor disadvantage may be a slightly worn feel comparing to the higher D'Addario gauges. This however, might be just a matter of adjustment and due to the differences of guitar setup and extraneous fret noise, depending on the string action.
There are cases of nickel allergies, so player should first test if there is no such condition that would make his or her life miserable.
This workhorse string set is extremely popular and I can only recommend it, given reliability and feel. If you play with guitars equipped with higher gauge strings, the feel of E and B strings might be a matter of adjustment. It's easy to overbend, so some mental calibration might be necessary for those players.